Actor Will Arnett is pictured with his star as he is inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame during an event in Toronto on Saturday, November 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Alessia Cara, Will Arnett among those honoured at Canada’s Walk of Fame

A telecast of the 2019 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards airs Dec. 15

Alessia Cara says getting recognition at this year’s Canada’s Walk of Fame gala event ranks among the most tremendous honours she’s received in her career.

“I feel like getting acknowledged by your own country in this way is huge,” the 23-year-old performer said on the red carpet before she received the special 2019 Allan Slaight Music Impact honour on Saturday night.

“It’s one of those things where I’m going to have to see it to actually believe it.”

The Grammy and Juno award-winning pop singer was among a group of Canadians being recognized for excellence in their respective fields, which include science, sports, entertainment and business.

Eight other influential names were inducted into the Walk of Fame at the gala dinner and will be given a star in Toronto’s entertainment district. They include architect Frank Gehry, hockey player Mark Messier, investor Jim Treliving, and speed skater Cindy Klassen.

“When I look at all the inductees, these are Canadians that have made such a difference in the world,” Klassen said.

“It’s incredible to be a part of that, a very humbling experience.”

Fellow inductee Will Arnett, whose work on “Arrested Development” and “Bojack Horseman” has ushered him into the echelons of comedy fame, said he’s honoured the organizers considered him worthy — but he has a few suggestions for future ceremonies to spice up the Canadiana.

First, he’d change their name to “The Sorrys,” and then he’d redesign the evening wear.

“Instead of just a regular tuxedo, if we wore Canadian tuxedos that would be better,” he said, pitching the combo of denim jeans and jackets.

As for the red carpet, he’d like to see a Zamboni crawling across it before the big show.

“They should have an ice carpet,” said the proud Toronto Maple Leafs fan. “Had nobody thought of an ice carpet? I can’t understand why.”

ALSO READ: Shawn Mendes, Drake, Jessie Reyez pick up Grammy nominations

All joking aside, Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett said he was especially pleased when he realized the rock band’s maple leaf-styled star would be near Roy Thomson Hall, a stretch of King Street West where generations of his family worked in the now-demolished Canadian Pacific Express building.

“Not only my dad worked there, but my grandfather worked there, my great-uncles and my great-grandfather,” said Emmett, whose band played hits “Lay It on the Line” and “Magic Power.”

Presenters for the evening included 2002 inductee David Foster, who tipped his music producer hat to friend Treliving, owner of Boston Pizza and one of the stars of ”Dragons’ Den,” and Kurt Browning, who joined the Walk of Fame in 2001.

Browning said getting inducted was like “an introduction to a family” where he’s wound up playing host and presenter to gatherings numerous times since.

“I seem to be the mascot of the Walk of Fame somehow,” he said.

“I think it’s important that we feel connected and that we celebrate when someone from our Canadian family does well.”

Posthumous honours went to children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs, known by many families as TV host Mr. Dressup. His grandchilden accepted on his behalf.

A tribute to James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball, included his grandson Jim and Isiah Thomas, an NBA All-Star and former Toronto Raptors executive.

Thomas, who was instrumental in establishing the Raptors in Canada, said he wanted to pay tribute to the creator of the sport he’s invested much of his life in.

After the Raptors won the NBA championship this year, some wondered if basketball could eclipse hockey as the ultimate Canadian sport, but Thomas said he always saw room for both.

“Hockey will always be the godfather of Canadian sport,” he said. “However, we wanted to give the kids choices.”

A telecast of the 2019 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards airs Dec. 15 on CTV and will be available to stream through Crave on Dec. 20.

David Friend, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Most Read